Of lice and men
Movie notes from the past month:
The one thing that would make Ocean’s 13 worth seeing is if Misters Clooney, Pitt and Damon all get bumped off. Andy Garcia can live. As for Spider-Man 3, they don’t have to kill Peter Parker. Just make him go completely insane. Full-blown bug-eating madman, a la Tom Waits’ Renfield in the Coppola version of Dracula.
As for Grindhouse, well, Sin City this ain’t. With me, a little zombie action and a few car chases go a long way. And here in the “G-house,” you’ve got over-the-top dumpster loads of zombies, cars, babe-age and guns. I know I’m being a moron for details here and completely unfair to the spirit of the flick, but how exactly do you fire an automatic weapon that’s stuck onto your thigh bone without using hands? O.K. fine, Quentin and Robert. You boys feel better now? You got all these methed-out homages to drive-in trash cinema worked out of your systems? Good, because Quentin, you know what you need to do? You need to go make a great movie. And no, Uma Thurman slicing up hundreds of boneheads (the kung-fu equivalent of Star Wars storm troopers) with a real cool sword doesn’t count as a great movie. We know you can do it, Q, we really do. And it doesn’t have to be Pulp Fiction-good. Just Jackie Brown-good will suffice.
Then, there’s Children of Men. If you like your science-fiction ultra-bleak, well, you’ve probably already seen this one. It’s not really sci-fi; more like near-fu-fi, as in a look at Tomorrow (not-so-subtle last scene) if the Wall Street Journal/New Testament view of the near-future doesn’t quite pan out. The concept is fascinating: Humanity is toast because a very efficient sterility plague has quickly gone world-wide. All the people in the movie are very bummed about this, which, considering our well-entrenched powers of self-inflated importance, is understandable.
What got me thinking after the film was, “Are there any other species that would be even close to sad at our imminent extinction?” Gotta figure dogs. Let’s face it, for the most part, we’ve totally seduced dogs with centuries of free food and warm shelter. Cats, too, even though a great many of them act as if they couldn’t care less. Chlamydia would be sad to see us go, I’m sure, as would tapeworms and head lice. But bacteria, S.T.D.s and parasites don’t count because their motives are, after all, very selfish. They’re all horribly detestable, anyway. Would any other species of creature, one that doesn’t live inside our bodies, give a damn if we departed the scene? Tigers? Cod? Salamanders? Ladybugs?
You gotta admit, if humanity got terminated, every stinking species on Earth would get together for an ecstatic “Thank God Man is Dead” celebration. Probably be a heckuva bash, too … until the lions get wasted and start killing everything in sight. I’m betting lions are really horrible drunks.